(an updated post from 2019)
Yesterday was our “Christmas” with our daughter and family. It was early. This is the year they make the drive to visit our son in law’s family for Christmas. We are so blessed that we all agree to flip years for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
This is a great dessert that looks very special for the holiday and very easy to make!
I made the red velvet cake Saturday night. I knew it would be a busy morning preparing for our lunch, wrapping presents and just having fun!
Guess what! I used a box mix. I do have my mom’s make from scratch recipe that she and my dad brought home from a big work banquet at the old Nashville Maxwell House. It was mimeographed. Who remember’s that?
The head chef shared the recipe. In those days, it was not a common cake or well known, at least in our area. If you served it, you were the hostess with the most’ess. It included the old style cooked icing. I made cream cheese icing.
Meg is our usual baker. She was working at the mall until 11 PM.
Amy is the fancy cake and cookie decorator. She got home from college around 11. That’s why I was up baking a cake.
Waiting for her.
Make a plain cake holiday special
Do you love the taller cake? I used 6 inch cake pans with removable bottoms. When using fill both pans evenly. It take a little bit longer to bake because of thickness. I baked according to box instructions for 8 in and monitored for doneness. It took less that 5 extra minutes to bake. Because I didn’t get the better perfectly level, Amy trimmed the tops and split the taller one making the cake 3 layers.
Even fancier! She added mini chocolate chips on top of the first iced layer. Extra chocolate is almost never wrong. To ice the sides smoothly, Amy filled a tall glass with warm water to dip the icing knife into to use to smooth out the sides and top. Using those mini chips again she studded the bottom layers. With the thinner icing and chips, the cake mimicked a birch tree. For the top, after unwrapping the individual peppermint bark pieces she broke them up in a plastic bag and rolling pin. Then she trimmed the out edge with the roughly broken pieces.
Next she sprinkled chocolate powder lightly on the top. We didn’t have a small sifter so I handed her the old fashioned tea strained spoon for loose tea. It worked great. She gently blew the loose chocolate powder from the parchment paper on the sides.
I made the icing. It’s easy. I used 3 6 inch cake pans. A 9×11 dish, 8-9 inch cake pans or three 6 inch pans can be used. Remember, the basic cake is a box mix.
Cream Cheese Icing
- medium size bowl
- measuring spoons
- mesh strainer
- flat curved icing knife
- parchment paper
- cake stand
- 1 baggie to put peppermint bark in
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 8oz cream cheese
- 1 stick softened butter
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 teas vanilla
- 2 tbsp milk
- mini chocolate chips to put around the iced cake base
- 1 bar Peppermint chocolate candy bar
- cocoa powder for dusting cake
- Soften butter
- Mix block of cream cheese that has been cut into chuncky pieces
- Using mixer with regular beaters, beat cream cheese until whipped
- Add softened butter. Mix together
- Slowly a little at a time, mix powdered sugar before adding more. Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk and vanila while mixing until the icing is smooth and ready to spread on the cake.
- Put peppermint bark in baggie and break into medium size pieces with a rolling pin
- Place parchment paper under the cake edges before icing and decorating
- Ice the cake lightly on the sides to resemble a naked cake making it look like a birch tree
- Decorate. Use mesh strainer to dust the top and sides of the cake
Serving the special dessert course
Special occasion gathers can be made extra special without long hours and extra work (unless you love it and want too). Box mixes work and purchased cakes do too. Our time in the kitchen which we enjoy was stress free and easy. The main meal was simple too.
Hot chocolate in snowman cups topped with whipped cream and mini choclate chips are an extra special treat!
We also decorated around the cake stand to be extra festive with pieces of greenery on top of the plaid table cloth.
Hope your Christmas meals are merry and bright and very delicious!
Items I have listed for you may not be exactly what I used but is very simialr. If you click on an affiliate link and buy something, I may receive a very small commission. It does NOT result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra. Thanks so much for your support!